The Morrison Government today introduced legislation to allow all welfare payment recipients in Bundaberg and Hervey Bay to volunteer for the Cashless Debit Card trial in the region.
The Social Security (Administration) Amendment (Income Management to Cashless Debit Card Transition) Bill will also extend the trials in the existing sites of Ceduna, the East Kimberley, Goldfields, Bundaberg and Hervey Bay regions to 30 June 2021.
Minister for Families and Social Services Anne Ruston said the Government’s decision to allow voluntary participation was a result of consultation in the trial site.
“During my recent visit to Bundaberg and Hervey Bay I heard a consistent message from the community that the Cashless Debit Card is making a real difference and people want to access the benefits and support the card provides,” Minister Ruston said.
“We are committed to using the Cashless Debit Card, in conjunction with a suite of other programs, to break down barriers and help people get a job. Welfare is about helping people get back on their feet.”
Hinkler MP Keith Pitt said the card was equipping people with the financial management tools to make a difference to their lives.
“Feedback from participants within the Hinkler has made it clear that people are having a positive experience on the card and that it is making a difference about where there money is spent,” he said.
The legislation will also see 23,000 people in the Northern Territory and Cape York in Queensland transition from income management to the card from April 2020.